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Xi'an Ancient City Wall

Xi'an Ancient City Wall, Xian attraction

Brief Introduction
As one of the UNESCO's world Heritage Site, Xi'an Ancient City Wall was built in the 14th century, under the regime of Emperor Zhuyuanzhang in Ming dynasty, had the function of protecting the cities or towns as military defense systems in ancient China. Xi'an Ancient City Wall is one of the oldest, largest and best preserved Chinese city walls, exhibits the "complete features of the rampart architecture of feudal society". Xi'an City Wall is a heritage National Historical and Cultural Town since 1961, it is about 14km in length, 12meters in height. The current city wall is an enhancement of the old Tang Dynasty structure, as a result of the emperor's wall building campaign.

Now, Ancient City Wall is one of the top attractions in Xi'an city. It takes around half day to walk around, cycling is a good choice for visitors go around and appreciate the construction in Ancient China.


History of the Ancient City Wall
Ancient City Wall was built in 14 centuries by Zhuyuanzhang, who is the first Emoeror of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Once Zhu Sheng, a recluse advised Zhu yuanzhang to build a f high wall and store enough food so that he could unify the other states and establish his own country. After following what the recluse said, Zhu yuanzhang built the wall, unified the country and established the Ming dynasty. After that, he enlarged the south and west walls on the base of the wall of Tang Dynasty and built the wall around the country, Xi'an Ancient City Wall was built at this time, took right-year period. 

In 1926, the wall was attacked with bombs by enemy forces resulting in serious structural damage, but the city within the wall was not affected. During the Second World War, when the Japanese carried out air bombings from 1937 to 1940, the residents built around 1,000 bunkers, as anti-aircraft shelters within the wide base (thickness of more than 15 metres (49 ft)) of the wall. A few escape openings were also made through the wall as passageways.


In 2008, Xi'an Ancient City Wall listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1961, Xi'an Ancient City Wall was approved as a heritage site as a National Historical and Cultural Town.

Now, Xian Ancient City Wall is the largest and best preserved existing ancient city wall in China and described it as "a wall that has withstood war and famine and the rise and fall of dynasties" by Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States.

What to see in Ancient City Wall

The structure of the Ancient City Wall
The wall now stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall, 12-14 meters (40-46 feet) wide at the top and 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) thick at the bottom. It covers 13.7 kilometers (8.5 miles) in length with a deep moat surrounding it. It has four gates at south, north, east and west, outside each gate, there is a battlement. Each gate has 3 buildings: the gate, the embrasure watchtower and the inner building. Every 120 meters, there is a gate which extends out from the main wall, which were built to defend against the enemy climbing up. Each gate has a watchtower, it has 4 layers of windows, and each window has 12 holes, so that the soldiers could protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy. Besides, there is only a short distance between gates that soldiers can shoot the enemy who want to attack the city within the range of an narrow shoot from either side. On the outer side of the city wall, there are many battlements where the soldiers can outlook and shoot at the enemy. On the inner side, parapets were built to protect the soldiers from falling off.

Xian_Attractions_Xian_Ancient_city_Wall2.jpgThe narrow tower and the main tower are connected by tunnels, in which soldiers could be stationed. From the tunnels there are also horse passages leading to the top of the wall. There are gradually ascending steps, made so that it was easy for war horses to ascend and descend. There are all together 11 horse passages around the city.

Xian City Wall International Marathon
The Marathon is held in the first Sunday of November each year, which is a kind of special tourism spot. The competition has attracted a total of more than 4,000 foreign athletes from over 50 countries to participate in the competition since 1993. 

Today, the tournament has been named the State Sports General Administration and the National Tourism Administration as a national sports tourism gold project, and has a certain amount of international influence.

How to get there
Metro Routes: No.2 and get off at Yongningmen Station.
Bus Routes:  No. 5, 18, 215, 603 and 611 etc. to get to.

Travel Guide
Riding a bike to visit the Xian city wall is highly favored by many visitors and bikes could be rented on the wall. It usually charges about 40yuan for riding 100 minutes.
Admission Fee: 40RMB
Opening Time:
                    South Gate: 08:00-21:00.
                    Wenchang Gate, Heping Gate, East Gate, West Gate, North Gate: 08:00-20:00.
                    Shangde Gate, Wumu Gate (aka Xiaonan Gate): 08:00-18:00.
Tel: 029-87218646

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